Bola Julius, a 38 years old man is a fashion designer and father of three. But his story is not about his prowess in creating apparels. That’s far from it. His is a touchy and emotional account of his misfortune and adventure into the dark alleys of life.
On December 21, 2010, he was dumped in the mortuary where he slept with the dead by those who picked him from the scene of a ghastly auto accident, on his way to Lagos to buy textile materials for his trade.
Today, those legs that used to dance on the sewing machines are shattered and his wife of many years had since bolted with his children and abandoned him to his fate.
On that ill-fated day, Julius had worked till the afternoon and when he closed his shop to prepare for the trip, he had no premonition of the stragedy that would befall him and change the course of his life.
Before the unfortunate incident, he was an accomplished fashion designer with a flourishing workshop by Tantalizers, in Garki, where he made clothes for the high and privileged in the nation’s capital city. Indeed, his design wizardry was renowned and attracted high class clientele in the elite circles including wives of governors, ministers, lawmakers, and other powerful Abuja residents. With perfection, he delivered styles that would have amazed renowned international brands in designing, a feat that made many doubt if his creations were actually from Nigeria.
But that was once upon a time. Today, the story is different. After several months in the hospital, the life of the once popular designer has changed from rich to penury, as he has sold everything including landed properties, sewing machines and his life savings to offset his accumulated hospital bills. Abandoned by his wife and children, Julius is now left alone in his rented apartment at Maraba, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, at the mercy of good neighbours that assist him into the bathroom to take his bath and nature’s call.
Nevertheless, the distraught fashion designer said there is still light at the end of the dark tunnel of his life he wallows in because his creativity is still intact. He could still design clothes well, though at a slower pace, since he could no longer handle manual sewing machines because of the conditions of his legs.
Back from the dead
The story is better told by this victim of circumstances of life.
And he narrated to Abuja Metro that: “It was on December 21, 2010, a peak period of my business with Christmas just approaching. I boarded a luxury bus in the evening at Nyanya, a satellite town at the outskirts of Abuja.
“Once inside the bus, I quickly drifted into a very deep sleep as the vehicle journeyed at night and was oblivious of what was happening around me. I only woke up in the morning in pains at the General Hospital Owo, Ondo State to discover that the vehicle had been involved in a fatal accident that claimed the lives of all the passengers on board but one. I was among those considered dead and already deposited at the morgue. It was at this point that someone noticed a twitch of my fingers and then a faint movement and quickly transferred me to the emergency ward. I am indeed lucky to be the second person to survive the crash. I actually came back from the dead.”
Eight months in hospital
I was transferred to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, UATH, Gwagwalada, the third day after the crash. I spent the next eight months there and as bills kept mounting, I had no choice but to dispose of my landed property, some sewing machines in addition to the money I had in the bank in order to raise over a million naira. I even lost my shop and all the textile materials of several customers plundered by my apprentice that did not ever think I would survive the accident.
My legs were badly crushed and when medical treatment seemed not to avail much after gulping all my savings and livelihood, I travelled to Osun State for traditional treatment.
Crashed from height
I used to design clothes for some people of high standing in the country – ministers’ wives, some other clients were who were members of the National Assembly. As a matter of fact, I used to sew clothes for the family of the governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson.
Most of my customers thought I was dead and long buried when in fact, it was my leg that is seriously affected and I still want to make the best out of life.
He told Abuja Metro how Mrs. Seriake Dickson helped to get his wife a job with the Nigerian Civil Defence out of compassion for the family but his wife reciprocated by deserting him when he most needed her.
With cold tears dripping from his eye, Bola said, “my wife, Monisola Julius who had stayed with me since we got married in 2001 and who endured my travail for two years, picked everything in the house
together with our three children; our first daughter is 14 years old and in SS1, the second is a boy that is 12 years old while the last child is only eight years old. She relocated to another place entirely with our three children during my trip to Osun State.
When she told me she was leaving on the phone, I thought it was a joke but I returned to Abuja only two weeks ago to discover it is true.
This heightened my sense of loss and made me to despair of life itself initially.
I am resolved now to pull through by God’s grace and by the help and support of people. My wife’s behaviour changed dramatically when she got the job, which was meant to bring relief to our family. She started coming home late and even left our church and started attending another church despite warnings not to do so. Honestly, I did not see this coming and she rebuffed all efforts to get her back to the path of reason
I will bounce back
I have accepted all that happened as my fate and I am determined to come out this dark path into the light someday, soon. I thank God I still have my creativity intact. I can still design clothes very well.
I have been doing it though at a much slower pace because I can no longer handle manual sewing machine because my legs are no longer functional and I do not have a shop where customers can locate me. It is never my desire to be an invalid relying on charity to survive.
So, I want to use this medium to appeal for help. All I need is a shop in town where I can have constant electricity and use electric sewing machines instead of manual ones and I am sure that some of my old customers will come back and bring many others with them. About N600,000 will pull my business back on track, he solicited. -TheSunNews